The Last Thing We Do

Hello again!

Time really flew by and we are almost nearing the end of Semester 1. This blogging journey has been invaluable to me. It was not only fun but enriching at the same time. What started out as an assignment, has turned out to be a precious learning opportunity. Through this blogging journey, I was privileged to be able to read and discover new knowledge through my own research as well as through my peers’ blogs.  I was able to broaden my horizon and had the rare opportunity to hear some of the perspectives that others have.

Recently, the talk of the town is the IPCC report that stated that we only have a mere 12 years to prevent global temperatures from rising to 2⁰C above preindustrial levels. Since the release of the report, I have come across many different reactions from people around me. One of the most common responses is to give up, mainly because most people believe that we are doomed. Why bother trying if we are going to die anyway? Undoubtedly, the situation right now looks bleak. Is it even worth it to try right now, knowing that we are very likely to fail in the end? Sometimes, I find myself unknowingly falling into this school of thought and it certainly does not help when you find that you are part of the only few that cares.

However, if there is anything I have learnt from my blogging journey is that instead of sitting in a corner and drinking our sorrows away in a plastic disposable cup, we can choose to act now. One of the most important things that I realized through my blogging journey is that there is no one-stop solution to climate change or eliminating carbon footprints. It will definitely take a lot of effort to reach our target of limiting global warming to less than 2⁰C above preindustrial levels. However, unless we believe that having a planet to live in is so “last century”, perhaps we can all agree that we need to protect Earth as if it is the last thing we do (because it is perhaps the last thing we can do).

Before I end off, I would like to share a motto that my cousin lives by. 

“Anything worth doing is worth over doing” -Lone Surivor

I definitely think that saving our environment is worth doing.

Till next time!

Is Economic Growth Overrated?

Hello again!

Last week, my professor shared with me a few interesting articles regarding the possible over-emphasis on economic growth by governments of the world. I was very inspired by this refreshing new perspective. Hence, for this week’s post, I will be discussing my views towards Singapore’s role in the environmental movement.

In an article by Semuels (2016), she argues against the dogma that more economic growth is always better. She posits that economic growth does not necessarily improve our quality of life and we need to limit economic growth when it reaches a certain point.

Although Singapore contributes to only about 0.11% of global carbon emissions, for a small sunny island, we actually contribute quite a lot (NCCS, 2018). Based on a report by the International Energy Agency (2015), Singapore ranks 26th with regard to carbon emissions per capita. We have outcompeted our close neighbours like Malaysia and the most shocking of all, China. This just shows how much carbon footprints Singaporeans are producing. Honestly, I am ashamed. Singapore definitely needs to up its game in terms of reducing our carbon footprints.

Image source: Source: CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion – 2015 Highlights © OECD/International Energy Agency, 2015

I’m a Singaporean, born and bred. I enjoy good food frequently and I live in an apartment with my family. Occasionally, I enjoy the luxury of travelling and exploring different countries. My life is great compared to many others that are living in poverty or struggling to make ends meet. Yet, the government still strives for an annual economic growth of 3.2% (MAS, 2018). Honestly, I highly doubt that my life will improve drastically even if Singapore exceeds its economic growth forecast. Hence, I am seeing eye to eye with Semuels. In my opinion, given Singapore’s current state of the economy, we can afford to shift our focus away from economic growth and towards other goals, particularly reducing our carbon footprint. Not only that Singapore has the skills and financial means to do so, but Singapore has also achieved a fair amount of financial stability that many others have not. This makes us a prime country to embark on greater environmental projects. I think that Singapore needs to take a more active role in reducing its carbon footprints. One aspect that I am looking forward to seeing Singapore’s development is in the field of renewable energy. I foresee a lot of potential in this field given our technological expertise and financial capabilities. A sunny island like Singapore can definitely exploit solar power to our benefit.

There are many ways in which Singapore can proceed forward in terms of reducing our carbon footprints, from lifestyle to production of energy. However, I think the biggest obstacle right now is our reluctance to forego aspects such as economic growth and wealth. The thing is, will it really kill us to do so? To me, economic growth seems like the background in the Mona Lisa painting. It is important and it makes the painting. But it is never the main issue. Perhaps it is time Singapore starts caring more about what is more important.

Till next time!

 

References:

MAS. (2018). MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters: September 2018.

Semuels, A. (2016, November 04). Does the Economy Really Need to Keep Growing Quite So Much? Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/economic-growth/506423/

NCCS. (2018, January 19). Singapore’s Emissions Profile. Retrieved from https://www.nccs.gov.sg/climate-change-and-singapore/national-circumstances/singapores-emissions-profile

IEA (2015), CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2015, OECD Publishing, Paris,https://doi.org/10.1787/co2_fuel-2015-en.

Eat Your Veggies!

Hello again!

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my opinions on the methods to reduce our carbon footprints suggested by Wynes and Nicholas (2017). One of the suggested ways is to go on a plant-based diet. Motivated by the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, I decided to try it out for a few days. This week, I will be blogging about my vegetarian experience.

A vegetarian lifestyle is known to be environmentally friendly. By eliminating meat from our diet, we are greatly reducing our carbon footprints. Most of our meats are raised on deforested land. Clearing land causes a large amount of carbon that is stored in the vegetation to be released. According to Carrington (2018), meat and dairy produce 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions despite only providing 18% of calories and 37% of the protein in our diets. In other words, it is simply not worth it to eat meat.

On the other hand, some experts stated that going vegan or vegetarian is not as environmentally friendly as we thought. Most of us are just “doing it for the gram”. Veganism has become such a huge trend that the number of people adopting this lifestyle has increased by about 160% in the last decade (Henderson, 2018). However, people do not realize the sources of their foods. Most of that “high SES” food that millennials are crazy over, such as avocado from Kenya and blueberries from the US, are often flown halfway around the world just to reach our plates (Henderson, 2018). Evidently, the amount of carbon footprints for our food is extremely high. One can even argue that perhaps eating beef that was raised just a few miles away from us might even be more environmentally friendly than going vegan or vegetarian.

A vegetarian lifestyle was something I have never tried before and I have to admit that it was an enriching experience. For someone who is a big fan of meat, it certainly was a little challenging at first. However, I slowly got used to having my meatless meals. Would I go on a vegetarian lifestyle permanently? Well, I might be slammed for this non-model answer but I don’t think I am ready to eliminate meat entirely from my diet and I doubt I am alone. Although I am aware of the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, my personal thoughts on this matter are that converting from an omnivorous diet to a plant-based diet is often easier said than done. Perhaps many others, like me, find it difficult to forgo meat entirely. In my opinion, perhaps going local might be a better option for us who find it difficult to dive straight into the veggies. Ultimately, the end goal is definitely to adopt veganism or a vegetarian lifestyle but I think reducing the carbon footprints of our food requires more than just “eating our veggies”. It also involves the knowledge of our food source.

First day!
Here’s a collage of some of my vegetarian meals!
Friends that jumped on the bandwagon!

Do check out Zhi Wan’s blog if you are interested in learning more about our “foodprints”!

Till next time!

 

References:

Henderson, E. (2018, January 27). Why being vegan isn’t as environmentally friendly as you might think. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/veganism-environment-veganuary-friendly-food-diet-damage-hodmedods-protein-crops-jack-monroe-a8177541.html

Carrington, D. (2018, May 31). Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

Is Minimalism the Way to Go?

Hello again!

Two weeks ago, I blogged about how, in my opinion, producers need to take on more responsibility in reducing our carbon footprints. This week, I will be blogging about how a minimalistic lifestyle might be the way to go in our quest, as consumers, to reduce our carbon footprints. There are many different types of minimalistic lifestyles ranging from Scandinavian minimalism to Japanese Zen minimalism. In general, they have a common goal: to discourage consumerist culture and encourage people to buy less.

Image source: https://tenor.com/view/zen-gif-5626530

Consumerism is often argued to be a contributing factor to carbon emissions and consequently, climate change. It is estimated that the products we consume constitute about 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Ivanova et al., 2015) and we are currently consuming at a rate that is 50% more than what is considered environmentally sustainable (Christian Aid, 2012). There is no better opportunity for us to change our ways than now and minimalism seems like a good alternative to our current way of life.

By adopting a minimalistic lifestyle, we are making a conscious effort to demand and consume less. Since we are demanding fewer products, producers will have to reduce production. This is a more effective method in reducing our carbon footprints since the majority of carbon footprints arises from production instead of usage. According to Apple, only about 17% of the total carbon footprints of its products arises from usage whereas the other 77% of it is produced from the manufacturing process. Through minimalism, we will also produce less waste because we are now buying fewer products of lower quality and instead investing in products that are of better quality and can last longer.

However, the main controversy of the minimalistic lifestyle is whether our economy can support a whole generation of millennials living frugally. Currently, in Japan, the government is facing a big issue of a generation of “consumer haters” who stubbornly refuse to spend. This has implications on the Japanese economy since frugal millennials are not spending enough to boost the economy, causing it to remain stagnant. For generations, consumption is one of the few main drivers of economic growth. By living minimally, we are largely reducing our consumption since we are now only buying what we need. Perhaps in Singapore, this might not affect us to a large extent because our biggest economic contributor is our foreign direct investment. However, it is undeniable that our reduction in consumption might cause our economy to take a hit, no matter how small it is.

In my opinion, minimalism is a good alternative but it is not the only one. The main takeaway is that we need to keep in mind that our choices will affect our carbon footprints and contribute to climate change. We might not be prepared to delve into a minimalistic lifestyle immediately but to start off, I think it is important that we acknowledge the importance of reducing and refusing and act on it. Ultimately, less is more.

Till next time!

 

References:

Karunungan, R. J. (2017, February 8). Minimalism Trend: Will it save the planet? Retrieved from http://climatetracker.org/minimalism-trend-will-it-save-the-planet

Harveston, K. (2018, February 15). Can the Rising Trend of Minimalism Help the Environment? Retrieved from https://emagazine.com/can-the-rising-trend-of-minimalism-help-the-environment/

Arundel, L. (2017, October 04). Minimalism Life › Minimizing our Impact on the Environment. Retrieved from https://minimalism.life/minimizing-our-impact-on-the-environment/

Ivanova, D., Stadler, K., Steen-Olsen, K., Wood, R., Vita, G., Tukker, A., & Hertwich, E. G. (2015). Environmental Impact Assessment of Household Consumption. Journal of Industrial Ecology,20(3), 526-536. doi:10.1111/jiec.12371

Funakoshi, M. (2016, December 09). Japan’s frugal millennials a bad omen for its economy. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-economy-frugality-idUSKBN13Y074

Christian Aid. (2012). Christian Aid Annual Report and Accounts 2012/13.

Carbon Offset: Necessity or Controversy

Hello again!

This week, I have decided to talk about the controversial topic of carbon offset.

The concept of carbon offset refers to individuals or companies investing in environmental schemes such as tree-planting or conversion to clean energy in an attempt to neutralise their carbon footprints. These schemes can be targeted at an individual or a company’s entire carbon footprints or the carbon footprints of a specific activity (Clark, 2011). I have collated some of the opinions people have on this concept and made a word-cloud on the topic.

Here’s a word-cloud I made using the impressions and opinions people have on carbon offset

From the word-cloud, it is evident that there are differing views on both ends of the spectrum. Some commented that carbon offsetting is effective and sustainable while others mentioned that is impractical and a mere facade. My favourite word of all has got to be “complex” because this is also my impression of carbon offset.

On the surface, it seems like a straightforward concept because we are simply removing the harm that we are inflicting on Earth. However, there are many other intricacies behind it. In an article by George Monbiot (2006), he compares the concept of carbon offset to the sale of absolution in the Netherlands during the 15th and 16th centuries and posits that carbon offset is ineffective because it takes too long to offset our current footprints. On the other hand, reports have shown that individuals who are engaging in carbon offsetting are already actively reducing their carbon footprints and the concept of carbon offset helps to raise awareness about reducing our carbon footprints (Clark, 2011).

Putting these arguments for and against it aside, I believe that carbon offset is a necessity. Although we cannot turn a blind eye to all its controversies, there is still no effective way that an individual can use to reduce his carbon footprints. Even for an environmentally conscious individual who takes up an active role in reducing his carbon footprints, we are still limited by the unavoidable carbon footprints that we produce such as the footprints resulting from our daily commutes or from our food. In my opinion, carbon offset seems to be the only available and affordable solution that an individual can take up easily to reduce his carbon footprints. There is more room for improvement in terms of its effectiveness. Currently, a lot of the methods we are engaging in such as planting trees and donating to environmental projects can only reduce our emissions in the long run but cannot do so immediately. We might not have the luxury to wait another decade for our current footprints to be offset. Despite its flaws, carbon offset remains an economical way that an individual can engage in to reduce his carbon footprints.

As of now, we have very few alternatives to turn to besides carbon offsetting. Hence, while it has numerous flaws, carbon offset might be a necessity after all. Do check out this post by Nicole if you’re interested to learn more about carbon offset!

Till next time!

 

References:

Clark, D. (2011, September 16). A complete guide to carbon offsetting. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/sep/16/carbon-offset-projects-carbon-emissions

Monbiot, G. (2006, October 18). Paying for our sins. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2006/oct/18/green.guardiansocietysupplement

Who to blame?

Hello again!

Last week, I blogged about my thoughts on Wynes and Nicholas’ method of having one fewer child in order to reduce carbon footprints. The rationale behind this method is due to overconsumption and the large carbon footprint of a single person on Earth. However, it got me thinking— why are we as consumers always the ones to blame?

Many often argue that our overconsumption is fuelling production and thus, is the root cause of the problem. Undeniably, it is a large factor and the way that we are consuming is not sustainable. However, here’s my take on this issue. You can ask us to eliminate meat from our diets or take 5-minute showers but we are never going to stop consuming. It is impossible and our every action as a consumer will leave an indelible mark on the environment. Considering this, I believe that producers need to take on a bigger responsibility to ensure that their production processes are more sustainable and leave a smaller carbon footprint.

According to Riley (2017), 100 companies contribute to about 71% of the world’s carbon emissions. Just imagine if these 100 companies all make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and make their production processes more sustainable and greener. It would be a huge leap in tackling climate change. Take food production as an example. We are aware that food production has a large carbon footprint that accumulates from production to retail. However, much of its carbon footprints are wasted and unnecessary. A lot of our food is wasted because of surplus or ugly food. Vegetables and fruits that are a little abnormal (a cucumber that is a tad too yellow or a carrot that is not straight enough) are often deemed “imperfect”. Most of the time, these are chucked aside on the field and left to rot, contributing to the 20% of food that is wasted due to their appearance (Stuart and Liang, 2017). Not only is a large part of the total carbon footprint of food production unnecessary, the rotting vegetables also produce an additional 2.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases every year (Stuart and Liang, 2017). Evidently, producers hold a key role in reducing the world’s carbon footprints and should be held responsible for their large amount of carbon footprints.

Reducing our carbon footprint will require the effort from both consumers and producers. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely companies that are striving towards greener production practices (you can check out these green businesses on this blog by my friend, Daphne). There will always be the tension between profits and morality but I think that it is time businesses up their green efforts by a notch. There is no money without the environment.

Only when the last tree has died and the river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money. – Cree Indian Proverb

Till next time!

 

References:

Riley, T. (2017, July 10). Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jul/10/100-fossil-fuel-companies-investors-responsible-71-global-emissions-cdp-study-climate-change

Stuart, T., & Liang, J. (2017, August 23). Commentary: Behind picture-perfect supermarkets in Singapore is looming waste. Retrieved from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/commentary-behind-picture-perfect-supermarkets-in-singapore-is-9145534

One Less Face

Hello again!

Two weeks ago, I blogged about my thoughts on the article by Wynes and Nicholas. The article mentioned about the 4 highly effective ways of reducing our carbon footprints, one being having one fewer child (Wynes and Nicholas, 2017).

Looking at the article rationally, Wynes and Nicholas brought up some excellent points with regard to this method. It is undeniable that the methods that we are currently adopting such as recycling or using energy saving appliances have limited impact on reducing our carbon footprints. If we are to keep the global rise in temperatures to below 2°C, we need to adopt more effective ways. Wynes and Nicholas (2017) estimated that having a smaller family will help reduce our carbon footprints by at least 23700kg in a year. This is similar to the carbon footprints reduced by 684 teenagers that are avid recyclers (Wynes and Nicholas, 2017). That is perhaps more carbon footprints reduced than all the BES students combined.

 

The carbon emission per capita in developed countries is evidently higher
Image source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/co2-emissions-per-capita-ranking/

However, this method is highly controversial and extreme. In response to Wynes and Nicholas, Basshuysen and Bradnsteadt (2018) brought up that there might have been double counting involved because we are unable to identify specifically the responsible party for the carbon footprints — the individual or the organization. This made me question the widely raved effectiveness of this method. If double counting is involved, the impact of one more child on Earth might not be as significant as mentioned. In this case, the effectiveness of having fewer children to reduce carbon footprints, although still relevant, might be exaggerated. On the other hand, Pedersen and Lam (2018) mentioned that given the current low birth rate in developed countries, the impact of one child on carbon footprints is actually not as significant. Instead, Pedersen and Lam pinpoint our overconsumption as the main factor. To some extent, I agree with Pedersen and Lam. Given our low birth rate, having one fewer child is almost equivalent to not having any children. In 2017, Singapore’s total fertility rate was at 1.16 per female (Department of Statistics, 2017). If each woman in Singapore were to adopt this method, it would imply that Singapore will face a declining population. How can we sustain our economy with a declining population? In my opinion, this method can be difficult to accept, especially in an Asian society. Our elders often place high hopes on their children to uphold the family name and to continue the family line. This definitely clashes with the method of “having one fewer child”.

Currently, I am sitting on the fence with regard to my support for this method. While its effectiveness is undeniable, a lot is at stake such as our economy, our culture and values. Truthfully, it is a method that is difficult to swallow and I think many are currently not open to this suggestion. I am keen to hear more about the views people have on this method. Do let me know! If you’re interested to learn about the effects of overpopulation on the environment, do check out this blog by my friend, Wan Teng!

Till next time!

 

References:

Each Country’s Share of CO2 Emissions. (2017, November 20). Retrieved from https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/science-and-impacts/science/each-countrys-share-of-co2.html#.W7Di4nszbX4

Births and Fertility – Latest Data. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.singstat.gov.sg/find-data/search-by-theme/population/births-and-fertility/latest-data

Wynes, S., & Nicholas, K. A. (2017). The climate mitigation gap: Education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions.

Basshuysen, P. V., & Brandstedt, E. (2018). Comment on ‘The climate mitigation gap: Education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions’.

Pedersen, R. L., & Lam, D. P. (2018). Second comment on ‘The climate mitigation gap: Education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions’.

 

The Dark Side of Mooncakes

Hello again!

In light of the upcoming Mid-autumn Festival, I could not help but wonder about the carbon footprints of this joyous occasion. This week, I would be delving into the environmental impacts of my favourite festival of the year.

Mooncakes are probably the most symbolic pastry of the entire festival. Often gifted to others, mooncakes are packaged in extravagant boxes and come in various flavours. However, this is not good news for the environment because of a large amount of food waste generated due to the mooncakes. From a survey conducted by Green Power (2016), about 32% of those surveyed commented that they are likely to receive more mooncakes than they can consume.  In 2017, it is estimated that one person in Hong Kong buys about 2.67 boxes of mooncakes (Diab, 2017). A large portion of mooncakes is being thrown away after the festival is over. According to CGTN, it is estimated that about 1.5 million mooncakes were thrown away in Hong Kong in 2017 (Diab, 2017). The carbon footprints of these mooncakes are equivalent to that of 168 households in a year (Diab, 2017). It will take about 60,000 trees one year to absorb this amount of carbon emission (Diab, 2017). If a small country like Hong Kong can generate so much food waste and carbon footprint from mooncakes alone, I cannot imagine the extent of the damage in bigger places like China.

In addition, mooncakes often come in elaborate packaging and boxes. Individual mooncakes are often placed in plastic containers while boxes of mooncakes, especially the more expensive ones, come in boxes with various layers and detailed designs. Often, mooncakes are over-packaged and this creates serious environmental problems and high carbon footprints. After the festival is over and the mooncakes have been eaten, these fanciful boxes are often thrown away. From the production of these boxes to the landfills, a large carbon footprint is generated.  Packaging accounts for a big part of “China’s 40 million tons of waste” (Schiavenza, 2013). While the problem of over-packaging can be largely blamed on the manufacturers, this problem is fuelled by the consumerist lifestyle and demand from the public. It does not help when websites like the Peak Magazine, which evaluates and ranks the “best-looking mooncake boxes”, encourage consumers to look out for these extravagant boxes that are taxing on the environment.

These are examples of just how extravagant some of these mooncake boxes can be!

It is alarming to find out that my all-time favourite pastry is not as simple and has a high carbon footprint as well. This is yet another example of how our simple daily actions can have a big impact on the environment. I believe that we should definitely pay more attention to the carbon footprints of the production and packaging of mooncakes. After all, it is the symbolic meaning of mooncakes that makes this pastry significant, not the extravagant flavours or packaging. It is a tradition, not another one of our consumeristic practices.

Happy Mid-autumn Festival everyone! Image source: http://soonthencheang.blogspot.com/2013/09/happy-mid-autumn-festival.html

Till next time!

 

References:

Tan, B. (1999, April 17). Mid-autumn Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie). Retrieved from http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_804_2005-01-13.html

Schiavenza, M. (2013, September 19). The Surprising Economics of Mooncakes-An Infographic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/09/the-surprising-economics-of-mooncakes-an-infographic/279839/

Pasternack, A. (2008, September 16). Repackaged, “Luxury” Mooncakes Foil China’s Wasteful Packaging Ban. Retrieved from https://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/repackaged-luxury-mooncakes-foil-chinas-wasteful-packaging-ban.html

Diab, N. (2017, September 30). Is your splurge on mooncakes harming the environment? Retrieved from https://news.cgtn.com/news/3055544e78597a6333566d54/share_p.html

Green Power. (2016, August). Green Power. Retrieved from http://www.greenpower.org.hk/html5/eng/fe_121.shtml

Too Little, Too Long

Hello again!

Last week, I blogged about my own most effective way to reduce my (albeit pretty high) carbon footprint. I also discussed some of the ways in which people around me are engaging to reduce their own carbon footprints.  At that point, like many of my peers, I firmly believed that no matter how small my efforts might be, it can collectively make a huge impact. Now, not so much…

Recently, my professor shared with us an article (Do check this article out; it will blow your mind!), also regarding the ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint. This article brings in a new perspective as it talks about more controversial ways to reduce carbon footprints. These ways include

  1. Eliminating meat entirely
  2. Having one less child
  3. Going car-free
  4. Avoiding trips by aeroplanes

In addition, the authors claimed that many of the ways that we are aware of such as recycling, using energy-saving appliances and eating less meat are actually not as useful as we thought they were.

In my opinion, while the ways that the authors suggested can be highly controversial, they made sense. If we know that meat is a major carbon footprint contributor, why not eliminate it entirely? Why do we only stop at reducing consumption? It was a mind-blowing moment for me as I tried to internalize the fact that all that I have done and preached so far were of little help. You mean, all these while, I was pretty much doing almost nothing to help?! For a while, it felt like an existential crisis. It seems like we have been doing too little for too long. To me, this article is a reflection of the harsh truths that we need. For too long, we have underestimated this environmental issue. To solve it, we must be prepared to take on more drastic measures.

Image source: https://tenor.com/view/existential-crisis-panic-crisis-tyler-oakley-tyler-oakley-gifs-gif-11337156

This article provided me with a whole new perspective of carbon footprints and the ways in which we are engaged to reduce them. Initially, I was convinced that reducing my own carbon footprints required only minor changes in my lifestyle (e.g. reducing my use of disposables or reminding myself to eat less beef). As I started out on my blogging journey, I was on a personal mission to debunk the “misconception” that one has to take drastic measures to reduce his or her carbon footprints. In the end, I am debunking my own misconceptions. Turns out, reducing our carbon footprints does require drastic measures to be taken. The question is, are we ready to take them on?

So, for the subsequent weeks, I will be exploring more on these controversial ways that the article has mentioned. I’m pretty excited to learn more about their effectiveness at reducing carbon footprint and the people’s reaction to them.

Till next time!

The Search

Hello again!

Just what are the impactful ways in which we can reduce carbon footprints? This is the question that I hope to address during my blogging journey and I am eager to begin my search for answers. There are so many ways that people around the world are engaging in to reduce their carbon footprints and so many more that we can engage in.

Personally, the most effective method in reducing my carbon footprints is reducing my beef consumption. It is widely known that beef consumption is a big contributor to carbon footprints. From the rearing of cattle to the methane that cows produce, beef consumption is one of the highest contributors compared to all the different foods. Here are the top 10 foods with the highest carbon footprint:

Image source: http://www.greeneatz.com/foods-carbon-footprint.html

 

In my opinion, the consumption of beef is more of a lifestyle choice and hence, given the amount of carbon footprint it leaves behind, it is one of the most effective ways to reduce my own carbon footprint.

Here’s a photo of my best friend and me! She avoids beef entirely to reduce her carbon footprint. She inspired me to do the same!

In addition, I also collected some primary data by conducting a survey on the knowledge and views people have on carbon footprints. Majority of the people surveyed (about 60%) are aware of the various methods to reduce their carbon footprint. The most common ways that those surveyed found most impactful are using public transport, adopting the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and reducing waste. These are also the most common ways in which people use to reduce their own carbon footprints. Surprisingly, while most of those surveyed viewed these methods as effective, many also acknowledged that these steps are impactful overall but insignificant on its own. Some commented that “it is own effective when everyone plays a part” and an anonymous person stated that “while it can have a possibly big effect when everyone does it, just doing it alone may not achieve great impact”.

On a side note, I found this website that I think might be useful to all of us. It’s a carbon footprint calculator!

Since I am discussing the topic of carbon footprints, I think it is vital that we know our own carbon footprints so that we can take a more active role in identifying the largest contributors to our footprint and take a step in reducing it. I encourage everyone to try out the carbon footprint calculator (it’s fun too)!

Unfortunately, I am also guilty of having a relatively high carbon footprint.

Before I sign off, here’s a question for all of us to think about. Across the globe, there are millions of children that are being educated about the importance of reducing our carbon footprints. There is also growing awareness and action with regard to this issue. Why is society still unable to get out of this environmental damnation? Are our efforts truly impactful?

Till next time!